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Future of Modernization Paper
Future of Modernization
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Future of Modernization
Modernization is the process of social change begun by industrialization.
Modernization refers to the changes of social patterns since the time of the Industrial
Revolution (Macionis, 2006). The Industrial revolution introduces one invention after
another, intending for the inventions to become better and better, but some do not always
turn out as intended. Different sociologists have tried to explain modernization each
through their own theories. Some known sociologists who have tried to explain
modernization are Ferdinand Tonnies, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Peter Berger, and
Karl Marx. Questions have arisen as to where or not modernization will continue in the
United States, and to what theory best reflects my personal perception of modernization.
Modernity is simply looked at as a way to better a person’s life. People tend to
use things that benefit them. For example, in the earlier years, horse and carriage was
society’s only way of transportation. As times changed, automobiles were introduced and
horse and carriages were phased out (Stone, 2004).
One sociologist Peter Berger identified four major characteristics of
modernization. One was the decline of small, traditional communities. Berger believed
modernization gave capitalism the upper hand in the world of economy while exploiting
the working class society. This brings about the decline of small traditional communities
which will eventually weaken the fabric of small communities. He believed modernity
involved the progressive weakening or the destruction of relatively cohesive communities
in which human beings have found solidarity and means throughout history (Macionis,
2006). The second characteristic was the expansion of personal choice. Many people
lived traditionally and lived their lives according to gods, sprits, or just fate. Berger belief
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of the expansion of personal choice is what he calls industrialization. The third
characteristic is increasing social diversity. As the growth of cities and people from
different backgrounds began to live in the same areas this encouraged the combining of
diverse beliefs and behavior. The fourth characteristic of Peter Berger’s belief was
orientation toward the future and a growing awareness of time. His belief of being aware
of the changes and new inventions of the future which could better people’s lives is still
encourage today (Macionis, 2006).
The German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnis theory reflects the various dimensions
of changes such as growth in population, the rise of cities and increasingly impersonal
interaction (Macionis, 2006).
A French sociologist named Emile Durkheim theory resembled Tonnies
somewhat. Durkheim was more optimistic, but he feared the modern societies might
become so diverse they would provide little moral guidance to individuals (Macionis,
2006).
Sociologist Max Weber viewed modernity as a way to replace a traditional
worldview with a rational way of thinking. His viewpoint is compared to Durkheim’s
theory. He believed science was carrying human beings away from the meaning of their
human existence (Macionis, 2006).
Karl Marx believed modernity weakened small communities as did Ferdinand
Tonnis, and increased the division of labor, while encouraging a rational worldview.
Marx’s theory of modernization is viewed as a complex theory of capitalism (Stone,
2004).
Future of Modernization Paper
Modernization is likely to continue in the United States and worldwide. As
products become more advanced, and the benefits of individuals change, modernization
will remain. As modernization remains, there may be consequences. It lessens the
requirement for labor, creating job cuts, and may also lead to problems with the
environment. For example, pollution from automobiles, and other industrialized
machinery. It can also be a start to saving the environment, for example, as with
modernized vehicles that do not omit as much carbon dioxide (Stone, 2004).
Modernization in the United States can contribute to other developing countries. Other
countries can follow the modernization trends of the United States to help benefit the
people of the country. Another negative consequence to modernization is competition.
For example, there is constant competition between the United States and Japan.
Although modernization is needed in this fast aced society. It also brings along with it,
the need to stay ahead, and this can be a challenge for some developing countries that
may not have all the needed resources to stay in competition (Stone, 2004).
Individuals get used to doing things a certain way, and when something better
comes along, the trend is picked up quickly. For example, before there were light bulbs,
people had to use lanterns and candles. There was no use for electricity. When a candle
went out people just lit another one with no fussing about why the candle went out. If
electricity were to go out today, people would begin to panic and complain. Everything
works on electricity. There would be no light, no air conditioning; some things that are
taken for granted could not be used. Another example is a cell phone. There are many
people that cannot live without a cell phone, when only a few years ago, the only thing
was a beeper and people had to go somewhere to use a phone to call the number back.
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Modernization is good, but it also spoils society and people tend to forget what it was like
before the modernization occurred (Stone, 2004).
My view of modernization is modernization promotes individualism over the
unity of traditional communities and encourages rationality over traditional philosophies.
The theorist who best reflects my views would be Karl Marx. He believed in the people
and he felt compelled to guide them to a safe world of government free living.
In the ever changing world, aspects of each sociologist beliefs are reflected in
today’s society. There are different viewpoints and new theories are being discovered. As
modernization continues to move forward life as we know it will be modernized yet
again. Everyone will drive hybrid vehicles in the future, and be able to enjoy a home
movie on their plasma television which would be mounted on the wall. People will be
able to enjoy their favorite movie on a blue-ray disc while kicking their feet up while the
IROBOT vacuum cleaner cleans the floor. We will be able to relax on a bed which can
configure to our sleep settings and we will be able to wake up and start our day to the
soothing sounds of soft music coming from our revolutionary Bose stereo system. As
modernization continues, life just keeps getting better which means more relaxation and
less work. As the years continue to go by, more changes are in the future of the United
States and worldwide. Although some countries may not be as advanced as others,
modernization is still in the near future for everyone.
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References
(Macionis, 2006). Future of Modernization. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from
http://www.prenhall.com/divisions/hss/app/macionis_9e_ad/content/preface.html
Stone, J (2004). Future of Modernization. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from Macionis, H
(2004).
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